Cover image for To Siberia
Title:
To Siberia
Author:
Petterson, Per, 1952-
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Til Sibir. English
Publication Information:
London : Harvill Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
247 pages ; 20 cm
General Note:
"First published in Norway with the title Til Sibir by Oktober Forlag, Oslo, in 1996"--T.p. verso.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781860464607
Format :
Book

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Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

A study of the relationship between brothers and sisters, with the narrator looking back to her childhood, when she was heavily influenced by her brother Jesper. As she looks back, she reflects on the harsh reality of her life and the direction it led her.


Author Notes

Per Petterson was born in Norway on July 18, 1952. He is a trained librarian and before becoming a full-time writer, he worked as a bookstore clerk, translator and literary critic. His first work, Aske i munnen, sand i skoa (Ash in His Mouth, Sand in His Shoe), a volume of short stories, was published in 1987. His other works include These are Ekkoland (1989), Det er greit for meg (1992), and To Siberia (1996). He has won numerous awards including the prestigious Norwegian literary prize Brageprisen for In the Wake (2000) and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in the UK, the Norwegian Booksellers' Prize, and the Norwegian Critics' Award for best novel for Out Stealing Horses (2003).

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Starred Review. This 1996 novel predates Pettersen's acclaimed Out Stealing Horses (first published in 2003), and has all of Pettersen's haunted charms. As an unnamed young girl and her big brother, Jesper (who calls her Sistermine), grow up in rural WWII-era Denmark, the two cope with distant parents, an eccentric extended family and the cold wind. Jesper longs to go south to Morocco; Sistermine yearns for the plains of Siberia, foreshadowing lives that will diverge. Their grandfather's suicide, the arrival of puberty and most tragically, the German invasion change their idyllic childhood relationship; as each sibling fights back against the occupation in his or her own way, their inevitable separation looms. The second half of the novel, in which Sistermine struggles to make sense of her life in various Scandinavian cities and towns, awaiting a hoped-for reunion with Jesper, is less breathtaking and mesmerizing than the first, but the contrast makes her numb loneliness and inability to connect all the more poignant. The book builds up slowly, casting a spell of beauty and devastation that matches the bleak but dazzling climate that enshrouds Sistermine's young life. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

The realization of life's unfulfilled dreams is the theme of this beautifully written novel, which recounts the unnamed narrator's childhood and adolescence in a small Danish town. She dearly loves her brother, Jesper, the only person in her family she cares about. Her rigid, intolerant parents are unresponsive to her need for affection, scarred by the suicide of her grandfather and her mother's Christianity. Then the Germans bring World War II to their quiet world, and life changes. Jesper joins the underground and is forced to flee the Gestapo. Our narrator continues to dream of escape to Siberia, which in her imagination is an idyllic place where her wishes come true and she is happy. In the final pages, she comes to the realization that her parents are more intolerant than ever, her beloved brother is dead, and she will never be able to fulfill her dream. The author of a story collection and an earlier novel, Norwegian writer Petterson is an outstanding talent. Highly recommended.√ĄLisa Rohrbaugh, East Palestine Memorial P.L., OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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